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CHP announces one new confirmed melioidosis infection case over past week
     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) today (March 24) said that one new confirmed melioidosis infection case had been recorded in the past week (March 18 to 24). 

     The case involves a 76-year-old male who has diabetes and lives in Sham Shui Po. He developed fever, cough and generalised weakness on February 25 and attended the Accident and Emergency Department of Caritas Medical Centre on March 1, where he was admitted on the same day. He developed acute retention of urine and was put on a urinary catheter. He was treated with antibiotics and was discharged on March 19. His urinary catheter was blocked on March 20 and he was readmitted on the same day. His urine sample was confirmed positive for Burkholderia pseudomallei upon testing. He is now in stable condition. An epidemiological investigation of the case is ongoing.
     A total of four melioidosis infection cases have been recorded in Hong Kong so far this year. In 2022, 46 melioidosis infection cases were recorded, among which 30 cases living in Sham Shui Po were recorded since August that year.

     Melioidosis is a statutorily notifiable infectious disease under Schedule 1 to the Prevention and Control of Disease Ordinance (Cap. 599). The CHP will work closely with the Hospital Authority to enhance surveillance against melioidosis cases.
     A spokesman for the CHP reiterated that person-to-person transmission and animal-to-human transmission are rare, but melioidosis bacteria can survive in the local environment. Melioidosis is an endemic disease in Hong Kong and melioidosis cases have been recorded in Hong Kong each year. According to literature, infection cases are more common after typhoons or storms. The bacterium Burkholderia pseudomallei of melioidosis in soil and muddy water may become exposed to the ground after typhoons or storms, and the bacteria could spread more easily with strong winds or storms. As such, the number of melioidosis cases may increase.

     The CHP appealed to members of the public to seek medical advice if they develop symptoms, in particular people with diabetes or other immunocompromised conditions, in order to receive appropriate medical diagnosis and treatment. For more information on melioidosis, please visit the website of the CHP at www.chp.gov.hk/en/healthtopics/content/24/101110.html.
Ends/Friday, March 24, 2023
Issued at HKT 15:40
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